span class="dc">Flo Gummies is a supplement brand that makes several products, but their most popular is for treating PMS symptoms. They call this product the “First ever PMS gummy vitamin”.
In this article we’ll review the ingredients in Flo Gummies to determine if it’s likely to be effective for treating PMS symptoms, or if it’s a waste of money.
Misleading Product Title
Before we review the formulation, it’s worth noting that Flo’s PMS product is not a “vitamin” because 3 out of the 4 active ingredients are not vitamins. You can’t just include one vitamin in a formulation and label the overall product a vitamin.
Many breakfast cereals are fortified with vitamins and minerals too, but Lucky Charms (which has significantly more vitamins added than Flo) isn’t a vitamin product.
In our opinion, this misleading labelling is a sign of an unscientific product, and a brand that is more focused on marketing than good science.
Flo Gummies contains 4 active ingredients: Vitamin B6, Chasteberry extract, Lemon Balm, and Dong Quai.
Vitamin B6 does appear to be effective for treating PMS symptoms based on medical research, but the dosage in Flo Gummies appears underdosed.
A medical review that analyzed 9 individual clinical trials on Vitamin B6 treatment for PMS concluded that it was effective, but none of the studies included as low a dose as in Flo Gummies.
The lowest dose used in the medical studies was 50 milligrams (mg), while the dose in Flo Gummies is 20 mg. We can’t locate one single medical trial suggesting that a Vitamin B6 dose of 20 mg or below is effective for treating PMS symptoms, and Flo doesn’t appear to publish or link to any medical research on their site, so we will conclude that this is an ineffective dose.
The three remaining active herbal ingredients in Flo Gummies are listed in a proprietary blend, which means that the brand only publishes the total dosage of the blend and not the dose of each individual ingredient. This method of listing ingredients is deceptive in our opinion, and it prevents researchers and consumers from determining if an ingredient is accurately dosed.
Chasteberry extract is the second active ingredient in this supplement, and it is backed by medical research. A medical review published in the Complementary Therapies in Medicine journal found that the plant was “confirmed to be effective in the reduction of PMS symptoms.”
It appears from the research that chasteberry is effective for PMS at a wide range of doses, so even though we don’t know the exact dose used in Flo Gummies we conclude that this is an effective ingredient.
The third active ingredient in Flo Gummies is Lemon Balm. This does appear to be effective for treating PMS symptoms, but appears significantly underdosed in this formulation.
A clinical trial found that lemon balm was effective in treating PMS symptoms in high school-aged females, but the dose was 1200 mg.
Another study on women in their 20s found that supplementation of the herb decreased the severity of “systemic signs associated with menstruation”. The dosage from this study was 330 mg, but it was an extract, which is a more concentrated version of plant material.
The dosage of lemon balm in Flo Gummies is likely under 50 mg, given that the 4 ingredients in the herbal prop blend only total 111 mg.
We can’t locate a study which proves lemon balm at dose as low as likely is included in Flo Gummies (≤50 mg), so we will conclude that this is an ineffective and underdosed ingredient.
Dong Quai is the final active ingredient in Flo Gummies, and we can’t find any studies suggesting that this herb alone will be effective for treating PMS regardless of dose.
Since Flo Gummies doesn’t publish or link out to any relevant clinical research, and since we can’t locate any, we will consider this another ineffective ingredient for PMS symptom relief.
Overall we find this to be a relatively poor formulation. While 3 of the 4 active ingredients seem to have some research backing, only 1 of the active ingredients (chasteberry extract) appears to be effectively dosed based on our review of medical trials.
There are also several inactive ingredients in Flo Gummies that we recommend avoiding for health reasons.
There are 3 grams (g) of added sugars per serving, and we know from extensive medical research that added sugar in excess is harmful to human health. We also know from a medical review published in The Journal of Reproductive Medicine that foods high in sugar content are associated with worse PMS symptoms, so this ingredient seems like a poor choice.
Titanium dioxide is used as an artificial colorant by Flo Gummies, and this ingredient has been banned in the European Union (E.U.) as a food additive over toxicity concerns. The E.U. has much more stringent consumer safety standards than the U.S.
Flo also contains natural flavors which is an essentially unregulated term. A wide variety of chemicals can be used to make flavoring additives; some are safe and some aren’t. When the company doesn’t publish the actual chemicals used in their “natural flavors” we recommend avoiding the product out of an abundance of caution.
Better Natural Alternatives
For consumers seeking natural relief from PMS symptoms, we recommend speaking with your doctor about supplementing chasteberry extract alone, as this was shown in the above-linked research to be an effective natural compound for PMS relief.
A medical review of herbal treatments for alleviating PMS symptoms analyzed 17 individual trials and concluded that Ginkgo biloba is effective.
Research has also shown that cognitive behavioral therapy can be effective for treating PMS, so health-conscious consumers with access to a licensed therapist may want to consider this option, although it may be significantly more expensive per month than a supplement.